Archive for March 4th, 2013
It’s good being the Cardinal
Keith O’Brien, once UK’s senior Catholic leader, apologises and vows to play “no further part” in public life of church.
The cardinal who until recently served as Britain’s highest-ranking Catholic leader acknowledged unspecified sexual misbehaviour and promised to play “no further part” in the public life of the church…
O’Brien initially rejected the claims, saying he was resigning because he did not want to distract from the upcoming conclave which is due to pick a new pope.
But on Sunday, the Church of Scotland issued a statement quoting O’Brien as saying that there had been times “that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal”.
Followed by apologies and…I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic church in Scotland.”
The admission was short on details. O’Brien gave no clue as to what exactly his sexual misbehaviour consisted of, but the confession comes as the Roman Catholic Church prepares to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, who resigned the papacy on Thursday…
In an interview with the BBC, O’Brien said celibacy should be reconsidered because it’s not based on doctrine but rather church tradition and “is not of divine origin”.
Maybe there’s a chance he learned something about the realities of life.
Of course, it’s just as likely he was using his position of authority to sexually exploit parishioners. Hopefully, the truth will out.
Looks and sounds like Florida’s governor Rick Scott with hair
Conservatives like to say that their position is all about economic freedom, and hence making government’s role in general, and government spending in particular, as small as possible. And no doubt there are individual conservatives who really have such idealistic motives.
When it comes to conservatives with actual power, however, there’s an alternative, more cynical view of their motivations — namely, that it’s all about comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted, about giving more to those who already have a lot. And if you want a strong piece of evidence in favor of that cynical view, look at the current state of play over Medicaid…
…In the end most states will probably go along with the expansion [of Medicaid] because of the huge financial incentives: the federal government will pay the full cost of the expansion for the first three years, and the additional spending will benefit hospitals and doctors as well as patients. Still, some of the states grudgingly allowing the federal government to help their neediest citizens are placing a condition on this aid, insisting that it must be run through private insurance companies. And that tells you a lot about what conservative politicians really want.
Don’t tell me about free markets. This is all about spending taxpayer money, and the question is whether that money should be spent directly to help people or run through a set of private middlemen.
And despite some feeble claims to the contrary, privatizing Medicaid will end up requiring more, not less, government spending, because there’s overwhelming evidence that Medicaid is much cheaper than private insurance. Partly this reflects lower administrative costs, because Medicaid neither advertises nor spends money trying to avoid covering people. But a lot of it reflects the government’s bargaining power, its ability to prevent price gouging by hospitals, drug companies and other parts of the medical-industrial complex…
But why would you insist on privatizing a health program that is already public, and that does a much better job than the private sector of controlling costs? The answer is pretty obvious: the flip side of higher taxpayer costs is higher medical-industry profits.
So ignore all the talk about too much government spending and too much aid to moochers who don’t deserve it. As long as the spending ends up lining the right pockets, and the undeserving beneficiaries of public largess are politically connected corporations, conservatives with actual power seem to like Big Government just fine.
RTFA. There are a few more Krugman illustrations and examples at hand to clarify any questions you may have. Serious economists have no problem differentiating between the level of informed self-interest for useful entrepreneurship – and unlimited greed, lust for money and power generally surrounded by a stinking cloud of lies about creating wealth for all.
The more crooked your economics, the bigger the lies have to be to provide cover for political flunkies, ideological puppets.
The night shift at a Chivas Brothers distillery screwed up this week and accidentally flushed about 6,000 gallons of Scotch whisky down the drain…
The 80-proof goof happened early Tuesday at a bottling plant in Dumbarton, where workers were cleaning equipment. Instead of purging the wastewater, they instead expelled 18,000 liters of bulk whisky into the local sewage system…
No one at Chivas noticed until 11 a.m., but local sewage crews had gotten a good whiff of the scotch-and-water problem and were attempting to identify the source long before the distiller reported what had happened.
“Discharging large volumes of alcohol into the sewer network can have an adverse impact on wastewater treatment processes, particularly during dry, cold weather,” Scottish Water said in a statement, the BBC reported. “We are continuing to closely monitor our Dumbarton wastewater treatment works to ensure treatment has not been compromised…”
The company said it was investigating.
Someone managed to pull off a double OOPS! They flushed $750,000 worth of decent booze down the drain – and probably poisoned a chunk of the sewer treatment plant, as well.
Leda Olmsted was walking her dog at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan when she found hundreds of ice boulders scattered along the shore. She uploaded pictures to Facebook and caused a social media stir.
Olmsted said the ice rocks were scattered along a 100-foot stretch of beach. Some weighed as much as 75 pounds, she estimated. “I have a small English bulldog and they were as tall as her. They were pretty massive.”
Park Rangers at Sleeping Bear Dunes said the boulders likely broke away from the ice floes that form over Lake Michigan. Waves and wind smooth the chunks of ice into round balls, which can eventually wash ashore, park officials said.
Olmsted told The Weather Channel, “Most of the people who’ve lived here their whole live said they’ve never seen anything like it either. So it’s really cool.”
Struggling to resuscitate the beleaguered GOP’s fortunes and finances in a solidly blue state, California Republicans received blunt advice this weekend from Republican strategist Karl Rove: “Get off your ass…”
…Rove said Republicans have grown too “comfortable talking to each other,” and they have failed to grow the party beyond its core of older white voters. Nearly 70 percent of the nation’s two fastest-growing demographics – Latinos and Asian Americans – supported Democrats in 2012.
What Rove wants – and the Tea Party bubbas reject – is coming up with more and better lies. Not only the usual agitprop of fairy dust economics; but, plain and simple denial of racism and bigotry should be sufficient – he thinks – to fool American voters.
There is soul-searching going on in every corner of the convention, which drew more than 1,000 party activists. The party confronts historically low voter registration in California – just 29 percent of state voters are registered Republicans, compared with nearly 44 percent who are Democrats. An additional 1 in 5 California voters now registers with no party preference – a growing number that threatens to turn the GOP into a minor party. Republicans hold no major statewide offices in California and are the minority party in both chambers of the state Legislature. From this position of weakness, the state GOP is also saddled with a debt that incoming chair Jim Brulte said could be as high as $800,000…
Jerrie Libby, a party delegate from Sutter County and a Tea Party organizer, watched Rove’s address wearing a red Tea Party T-shirt, which she called “a silent protest” against Rove’s efforts to back establishment candidates over grassroots favorites…
“I want to tell him, ‘Karl, we are all conservatives. Stop bashing us,’ ” said Libby, a retired teacher and almond farmer. “We are eating our own in this party…”